Achievement motivation processes and the role of classroom context




Hagen, Anastasia Steffen, 1958-

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An integrated model of achievement motivation was proposed that included mastery and performance goal orientation, self-efficacy, test-anxiety, and self-regulated learning. There were two studies performed to evaluate this model. The purpose of the first study was to examine the ways in which the variables in the model contribute to academic achievement. The subjects in this study were college students enrolled in two introductory statistics courses. The measures were also administered at two different times over the course of the semester to test for reciprocal relationships among the variables over time. The data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Because the subjects in the first study were all enrolled in the same type of course, with similar course requirements and grading policies, the purpose of the second study was to determine how the relationships among the variables in the model might differ as a function of classroom context. The subjects in the second study were enrolled in one of two different College of Business Administration courses. One of the courses placed a greater emphasis on mastering the material (low competitive context), while in the other course the students competed with one another for high grades (high competitive context). The model was first solved separately for each group and then the fit of the model was compared across the two classroom contexts. The findings from the two studies indicated consistent positive relationships among mastery goal orientation, self-efficacy, and self-regulated learning. This suggests that being mastery-oriented results in higher self-efficacy and increased use of self-regulated learning strategies. Another consistent finding was that performance goals were positively related to test anxiety in both studies. This suggests that students with performance goals may also be more likely to experience higher test anxiety. Finally, the fit of the model was significantly different across the two classroom contexts, but only with respect to the relationships between mastery-goal orientation and achievement, performance-goal orientation and achievement, and self-regulated learning and achievement. These differences suggest that mastery and performance goal orientation and use of self-regulated learning strategies contribute to achievement in different ways depending on the classroom context